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Upgrading and Repairing PCs: A+ Certification Study Guide, Adobe Reader, 2nd Edition

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  • Copyright 2003
  • Edition: 2nd
  • eBook (Adobe DRM)
  • ISBN-10: 0-7686-5651-6
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7686-5651-0

Upgrading and Repairing PCs, A+ Certification Study Guide is a hands-on learning book. Author Scott Mueller takes you through test objectives one by one, pointing out the most frequently missed questions and explaining them with a greater detail than easier questions need. Spend your time learning--not deciphering bad writing! Just the essentials! Scott covers the essentials that you'll need to pass the test and point you where to go for more information. Frequent study reminders throughout help you focus and remember the core concepts for the exam--and not the not-so-necessary details. Practice Exams cover the topics that you'll be tested on and asks them in the manner they'll be asked on the test.

Table of Contents



Introduction.


1. Basic Concepts.

Introduction. The Essential Parts of Any Computer.

Hardware Overview. Software Overview. Firmware Overview.

Memory: RAM and ROM. Measurement: Bits, Bytes, and Beyond.

File Overhead and Other Features.

Numbering Systems Used in Computers.

Decimal Numbering System. Binary Numbering System. Hexadecimal Numbering System. Binary Versus Decimal MB/GB. Quick Estimations from Digital to Binary and Back.

Serial Versus Parallel Information Transfer.

Parallel Information Transfers. Serial Transfers.

IRQs, DMAs, I/O Port Addresses, and Memory Addresses.

IRQs. I/O Port Addresses. Memory Addresses. DMA-Direct Memory Access.

Summary.



2. The Motherboard and CPU.

Introduction. The Motherboard.

The System Bus. Essential System Components Found on the Motherboard. Integrated Motherboard Ports. Motherboard Types. Motherboard Installation and Removal.

The CPU.

Voltage. Physical CPU Packaging Types. Socket and Slot Types. Internal CPU Characteristics Affecting Performance. CPU Installation and Removal.

CPU Optimization.

Adjusting Speed and Multiplier Settings. Adding Main and Cache RAM. CPU Optimization Scenarios. Recognizing Expansion Slot Types.

Troubleshooting.

Overheating of CPU or System. Corrosion on Memory Contacts. Loose CPU and BIOS Chips. Missing Slot Covers. Expansion Slot Blocked by CPU. Dead Short in System. Compatibility Guidelines.

Summary.



3. BIOS and CMOS Configuration.

Introduction. The BIOS and Standard Devices.

Storing System Settings. POST. Beep Codes. Onscreen Error Messages. POST Codes and POST Cards. Transferring Control to the Operating System with the Bootstrap. Loader. Warm and Cold Booting.

System Configuration.

Starting the Setup Program. Step-by-Step CMOS/BIOS Configuration.

Getting Support for Your BIOS. BIOS Upgrades.

Flash BIOS Upgrade.

BIOS Troubleshooting.

Incorrect CMOS Configuration. Incorrect Flash BIOS or Failed Update.

Summary.



4. RAM.

Introduction. Memory Types and Forms. Memory Banks. Memory Chips and Modules.

Calculating Memory Sizes with Chips. Parity Versus Non-Parity Memory. Beyond Parity—ECC. Single and Multi-Bit Chips. Memory Module Types. Memory Speeds. Memory Chip Types. Memory Module Form Factors.

Specifying Memory for a Given System.

Using a RAM Calculator. Specifying Memory Modules.

Installing SIMMs. Installing DIMMs. Cache RAM and Main Memory.

Locations for Level 2 Cache. Upgrading Cache RAM.

Troubleshooting.

Avoid Mixing Metals in RAM and Sockets. Avoid Mismatching RAM Speeds. EDO Compatibility with Other RAM Types. “Parity Error—System Halted”. RAM Sizing Errors at Bootup. Determining Whether Cache RAM Is the Source of a Memory Problem. Other Methods for RAM Testing.

Summary.



5. Input/Output Devices and Cables.

Introduction. Parallel Port. Parallel Port Configuration.

LPT Port Operating Modes. Comparing IEEE-1284 and Standard Centronics Parallel Cables. Standard and Optional Parallel Port Settings. How to Configure or Disable Parallel Ports.

Troubleshooting Parallel Ports.

IRQ Conflicts. Incorrect LPT Port Mode for Attached Devices. Problems with Daisy-Chained Devices. Cabling and Port Problems. Switchbox Problems.

Serial Ports.

Serial Port Pinouts. Null-Modem Cables. Standard IRQ and I/O Port Addresses. How to Configure or Disable Serial Ports. Serial Cabling. Serial Port Software Configuration.

Serial Port UARTs.

Determining Which UART a Serial Port Uses. Upgrading the UART Chip. Serial Port Troubleshooting.

Adding Serial and Parallel Ports to an Existing System. USB Ports.

Speeds and Technical Details. Requirements for USB Operation. Troubleshooting USB Ports.

Modems.

Modem Configuration and Setup. Modem Installation with Windows 9x (Me) and Windows 2000. Standard AT Commands. Cabling. Replacement. Modem Troubleshooting.

Keyboard.

Installation and Replacement. Troubleshooting.

Mouse.

Installation and Replacement. Mouse Configuration. Mouse Software Installation. Mouse Configuration. Mouse Maintenance. Mouse Troubleshooting.

Sound Cards.

External Features. Internal Features. Types of Sound Cards. Physical Installation and Replacement. Default Hardware Configuration. Sound Card Troubleshooting.

IEEE-1394.

IEEE-1394—Compatible Devices and Technical Requirements. Troubleshooting IEEE-1394 Cards and Devices.

Summary.



6. Video

Introduction. The Video Card.

Understanding the Video Card Accelerator Chip and Video BIOS Chip. Video Card Display Types. Achieving Higher Resolutions and Color Depths. I/O Port, Memory, and IRQ Usage.

Video Memory. Common Video Card Bus Types. Installing a Video Card or Monitor.

Changing Video Cards in Windows 9x and Above.

Adjusting Video Displays.

Picture Size Settings.

Troubleshooting.

High-Voltage Precautions. Using Known-Working Replacement Monitors for Troubleshooting. Disposal of CRT.

Summary.



7. Storage.

Common Characteristics of Magnetic Storage Devices. Floppy Disk Drives.

Floppy Disk Drive Types. Distinguishing Marks of Different Disk Types. Factors Required for Floppy Disk Drive Support.

Floppy Disk Drive Hardware Configuration.

Floppy Disk Drive Physical Installation and Removal. BIOS Configuration.

The Care of Floppy Disks, Data, and Drives.

Troubleshooting Floppy Disk Drives.

Hard Drives. IDE Hard Drive.

IDE Hardware Resources. Master and Slave Jumpers. IDE Hard Drive Physical Installation. IDE Data Cable Keying Standards. BIOS Configuration of IDE Devices. Overcoming Hard Disk Capacity Limitations with LBA Mode. Additional Drive-Size Limitations. IDE Performance Optimization. EIDE and ATA Standards. Troubleshooting IDE Drives.

SCSI Interface.

Multiple Device Support with SCSI Host Adapters. SCSI Host Adapter Locations and Hardware Resources. SCSI Standards. SCSI Host Adapter Card Installation. Choosing an Appropriate SCSI Card for Your Devices. Troubleshooting SCSI Devices.

CD-ROM, CD-RW, and DVD-ROM Drives.

How CD-ROM and DVD Drives Store Data. Capacities and Technical Details. Installing CD-ROM and DVD Drives. Troubleshooting CD-ROM and DVD Drives.

Summary.



8. Power Supplies and Circuit Testing.

Power Supply Ratings. Multivoltage Power Supplies. Causes and Cures of Power Supply Overheating.

Overloading. Fan Failure. Inadequate Air Flow Outside the System. Inadequate Air Flow Inside the System. Dirt and Dust. Auxiliary Fans.

Replacement Power Supply Form Factors and Connectors. Removal and Replacement of the Power Supply. Testing Power Supplies with a Multimeter. Troubleshooting Power Problems. Determining Power Supply DC Voltage Levels. Power Protection Types.

Surge Suppressor. UPS and SPS. Buying the Correct-Sized Battery Backup System. Power Conditioning Devices.

Summary.



9. Printers.

The Printing Process. Line Versus Page Printers. Printer Controls for Text and Graphics.

Fonts and Typefaces. Printer Languages. Paper Feed Types. Paper Paths and Paper Problems.

Major Printer Technologies and Interfaces. Dot-Matrix.

Dot-Matrix Printhead Types. Parts of a Dot-Matrix Printer. Standard-Carriage Versus Wide-Carriage Models. Maintenance for Impact Dot-Matrix Printers. Dot-Matrix Printer Troubleshooting.

Inkjet Printers.

Inkjet Printers and Ink Cartridges. How Inkjet Printheads and Ink Cartridges Relate. Inkjet Printer Paper-Feed Mechanisms. Periodic Maintenance for Inkjet Printers. Troubleshooting Inkjet Printers.

Laser Printers.

The Laser Printing Process. Memory and Laser Printers. Toner Cartridges. Paper, Labels, and Transparency Stock. Troubleshooting the Laser Printer. Using the Self-Test for Laser Printers. Periodic Maintenance for Laser Printers.

Software and Printers. Summary.



10. Portables.

Introduction. LCD Display.

Dual Scan. Active Matrix.

Graphics Circuitry.

Troubleshooting LCD Displays and Graphics Circuits.

Portables' Keyboards.

Mouse and Mouse Alternatives on Portable Computers. Troubleshooting Portable Keyboards and Pointing Devices.

Battery Technologies.

Battery Types. Power Management. Memory Size and Its Impact on Battery Life. PC Cards and Power Usage Issues. Troubleshooting Power Systems on Portable Computers.

Expansion Bus.

Docking Stations. Configuring Docking Stations and Devices. Port Replicator. Troubleshooting Docking Bays and Port Replicators.

Portable Storage.

Hard Drives. Floppy and Removable-Media Drives. Optical Drives. Flash Memory Storage. Troubleshooting Drives.

PC Cards (PCMCIA Cards).

PCMCIA Hardware Resource Requirements. PC Card Types. CardBus and Zoomed Video (ZV). Combo PC Cards. PC Card Dongles. Inserting and Removing PC Cards. PC Card Troubleshooting.

Infrared Ports.

Installing the Infrared Port. Infrared Port Hardware and Software Configuration. Printing with the Infrared Port. Troubleshooting the Infrared Port.

Memory Upgrades. Standard I/O Interfaces Used on Portable Computers. Summary.



11. Safety and Recycling.

Cleaning Equipment Safely.

Safely Using a Vacuum Cleaner.

Recycling and Disposal Issues.

Disposal of Batteries. How to Recycle Toner and Printer Cartridges. How to Dispose of Chemical Solvents and Cans. Disposing of Obsolete Monitors and Other Computer Equipment.

How to Read an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet). Electro Static Discharge (ESD).

Preventing ESD.

Correct Storage for Equipment. Hazards.

High-Voltage Sources.

Precautions.

Disconnecting Equipment. Discharging CRTs. Using a Commercial Wrist Strap. Additional ESD Precautions.

Summary.



12. Preparing Hard Drives with Windows.

Hard Disk Preparation Prerequisites. Creating a Boot Disk Suitable for Hard-Disk Preparation.

Windows 9x. Windows 2000.

Understanding File Systems and Partition Types.

File System Types Used by Windows 98 and Windows 2000. Primary and Extended Partitions.

Comparing Windows 98's Fdisk and Format.

What Fdisk.exe Does. What Format.com Does.

Preparing a Hard Disk for Use with Windows 98.

Partitioning the Drive with Fdisk.

Windows 98 Format.

Using Format with Hard Drives. Using Format with Floppy Drives. Using Format in Windows 98 Explorer.

Preparing a Hard Disk for Use with Windows 2000.

Using the Windows 2000 Setup Program to Prepare a Hard Drive. Using MMC's Disk Management to Prepare a Hard Drive.

Troubleshooting Drive-Preparation Problems.

Troubleshooting Drive-Preparation Problems with Fdisk. Troubleshooting Hard Disks That Can't Boot After Format. Repairing the Master Boot Record.

Summary.



13. Operating System Installation and Upgrades.

Installing Versus Upgrading an Operating System. Preparing to Upgrade Your Operating System.

Verifying Your System Is Ready for Windows 98. Verifying Your System Is Ready for Windows 2000 Professional. When Bootable Disks Are Necessary.

Upgrading to Windows 98—Overview.

From MS-DOS. From Windows 3.1. From Windows 95.

Installing Windows 2000—Overview.

Installing Windows 2000 on an Unpartitioned Drive. Upgrading Windows 98 to Windows 2000. Dual-Boot Installation Overview. Upgrading Windows NT 4.0 to Windows 2000. Verifying System Compatibility During Windows 2000 Installation.

Troubleshooting Installation.

Troubleshooting the Windows 98 Installation. Troubleshooting the Windows 2000 Installation.



14. Using and Optimizing Windows 9x and Windows 2000.

Differences Between Windows 9x and Windows 2000.

MS-DOS Legacy Support. Windows 3.1 Legacy Support. Security. File System Support. Networking. Hardware Compatibility. Stability.

Windows 9x Startup Files and Their Uses.

Tasks Performed by Io.sys. Msdos.sys—Configuring Your Boot Options. Config.sys in Windows 98. Autoexec.bat in Windows 98. Win.com in Windows 98.

Windows 2000 Startup Files and Their Uses.

NTLDR and Starting Windows 2000.

Memory Management in Windows 98.

Adjusting Default Memory Configurations in Windows 98. Managing Virtual Memory in Windows 98. Managing the Windows 98 File System Properties.

Memory Management in Windows 2000. Core Files and Commands of Windows 98 and Windows 2000.

Windows 98 System Configuration Files. System Configuration Maintenance in Windows 98. The Windows 2000 Registry.

Using Command-Prompt Commands and Utilities.

Internal Commands Overview. Windows Command-Prompt Utilities.

Disk Management.

My Computer. The Windows Explorer. Setting and Displaying File Attributes in Windows 9x Explorer. Setting and Displaying File Attributes in Windows 2000 Explorer. Naming Files. Using Windows Error Checking. Backup/Restore. Using Defragment. Locating Files and Folders.

Installing Windows Software.

Making Program Menu and Desktop Shortcuts. Starting Windows Software.

Installing Non-Windows Software.

Starting Non-Windows Software. Adjusting the Environment with the Program Tab. Adjusting the Appearance of the Program Window with the Font Tab. Adjusting Memory Usage with the Memory Tab. Screen, Keyboard, and Other Adjustments.



15. Installing and Configuring Hardware in Windows.

Using the Control Panel.

Opening the Control Panel and Its Icons.

Printing and Printer Configuration.

Installing the Printer. Setting the Default Printer. Using the Print Spooler. Printing to a Network Printer. Printer Troubleshooting.

Installing Hardware.

Plug and Play Requirements. Installing a PnP Device. Installing a Legacy Device.

Troubleshooting Hardware.

Using the Windows Device Manager. Using Microsoft System Information. Using Windows Hardware Troubleshooters.



16. Troubleshooting Windows Software

Startup Error Messages and Solutions.

Safe Mode. Error in Config.sys line xx (Windows 98 Only). Bad/missing Command.com (Windows 98 Only). Himem.sys not loaded. Missing or corrupt Himem.sys. Device referred to in System.ini/Win.ini/Registry not found. Swapfile and Disk Access Problems. Missing Operating System Files. Hardware Configuration Problems. Can't Start Windows 2000 GUI Errors. System/Application/Security/Directory/DNS log is full Error.

Operating Error Messages and Solutions.

General Protection Fault and Illegal Operation Errors. Invalid working directory Error. System Lockups. Can't Log On to Network. TSR Program Error. Can't Install Applications. Can't Start or Load Application Errors.

Using Windows Utilities for Troubleshooting.

ScanDisk and CHKDSK. Device Manager. Computer Manager. Msconfig.exe (Windows 98). Registry Editors. Command-Prompt Troubleshooting Utilities. Windows 2000 Recovery Console. Windows Troubleshooting Utilities.

Computer Viruses.

What Is a Computer Virus? Clues Pointing to Computer Virus Infections. Types of Computer Viruses. Detecting Viruses on Client Computers. What to Do when a Virus Is Located on a Client Computer.



17. Networking.

What Is a Network? Network Operating Systems.

Servers. Clients. Built-In Networking Features in Windows.

Protocols.

Common Network Protocols: TCP/IP, NetBEUI, IPX/SPX. Application Protocols Requiring TCP/IP.

Networking Configuration. Network Types.

Ethernet Types. Other Choices.

Cabling Types and Network Topologies.

UTP Cabling, Hubs, and Switches. STP and Token-Ring Networking. Fiber-Optic. Coaxial. Ethernet Cable Length Standards. Direct Cable Connection.

Network Interface Card Installation and Configuration.

Configuring Network Interface Cards.

Setting Up the Server.

Installing Windows Networking Components: Windows 9x. Shared Folders and Drives. Shared Printers.

Setting Up the Client. Using Shared Resources.

Mapped Drives. The Universal Naming Convention (UNC). Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDN). The Net Command.

Beyond LANs—Repeaters, Switches, and Routers.

Repeaters. Switches. Routers.

Internet Concepts.

Dial-Up Networking Through an ISP. TCP/IP Configuration. Using Ping. Tracert. HTML. Browser Configuration. FTP. Email. Domain Names.

Troubleshooting.

Can't Access Network Resources. Significant Drops in Network Performance. An Unattended PC Drops Its Network Connection. All Users Lose Network Connection. Users Can Access Some Shared Resources but Not Others. Can't Print to a Network Printer. Ping and Tracert Work, but User Can't Display Web Pages with Browser.

Summary.



18. Troubleshooting Principles.

Introduction. Troubleshooting Methods Overview.

The First Step—The Client Interview. How to Evaluate the Client's Environment.

Determining Whether a Problem Is Caused by Hardware or by Software.

Recording the Current Configuration. Changing One Component or Configuration Setting at a Time. “Known-Working” Doesn't Mean “New”—Best Sources for Replacement. Parts. Where to Start? What Components to Check First. Where to Go for More Information. Keeping Track of Your Solutions.

Useful Hardware and Software Tools. Summary.



Appendix A. Glossary.


Appendix B. The A+ Certification Process.

Overview of the Process. Learning More About the A+ Exams.

Test Details.

Selecting a Test Vendor.

Viewing Test Center Locations. Registering for the Tests.

Preparing for the Exam. Online and Other Training Resources. Exam Day.

Practice with the Simulated Test First. My Testing Strategy for the Conventional Exam. Testing Strategies for the Adaptive Exam. Getting the Test Results.

Receiving the A+ Certification Materials. Learning from Your Mistakes. A+ Certified for Life!



Appendix C. CD-ROM Instructions

Introduction. Self-Test Software.

Equipment Requirements. Running the Self-Test Software.

CD-ROM Content for Study and Mastery.



Appendix D. Objectives Index.

Core Exam.

Domain 1.0: Installation, Configuration, and Upgrading. Domain 2.0: Diagnosing and Troubleshooting. Domain 3.0: Preventive Maintenance. Domain 4.0: Motherboard/Processors/Memory. Domain 5.0: Printers. Domain 6.0: Basic Networking.

A+ Operating Systems Exam.

Domain 1.0 Operating System Fundamentals. Domain 2.0 Installation, Configuration, and Upgrading. Domain 3.0 Diagnosing and Troubleshooting. Domain 4.0 Networks.



Appendix E. Lab Exercises on the CD-ROM.


Index.

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